Rhinebeck Preview in Black and White

With only a couple of weeks left until Rhinebeck, my mind is occupied with almost nothing else. Today it’s sunny and in the 60s — really perfect weather for a day wandering around the beautiful Dutchess County fairgrounds. I hope we have exactly the same weather for Rhinebeck. Last year, it was far too hot for wearing wool sweaters, so fingers crossed we don’t have a repeat of that.

 Secret Rhinebeck Shawl

Secret Rhinebeck Shawl

This year Rhinebeck is even more exciting because I’ve created a new design just for the fair. It’s knit in the exclusive Rhinebeck 2018 colorway dyed by an indie dyer who will be there. Since I don’t want to spoil the surprise of the color, my photos are all black and white for now. But trust me, it’s lovely — really, really lovely — a soothing and calming color that goes with just about everything.

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The yarn will be revealed and the pattern released during the days leading up to Rhinebeck. For now, I can share that it’s a garter stitch and lace crescent shawl, in two sizes. After working the lace, you transition to easy garter stitch short rows (very easy — you don’t even have to pick up the wraps, because they are hidden within the garter stitch). After the lace — which does require being attentive to a chart or the row-by-row written instructions — the project is refreshingly simple, perfect for taking along to a cafe or knit night.

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The dyer and I both wanted this design to be a one-skein project. After knitting lots of swatches and trying out different lace ideas, I made my best calculations about yardage and cast on. And at the end, when I cast off, there were only a few yards remaining. Not ideal! So I wrote up the pattern for two sizes, one 60 inches long and the other about 66 inches. The smaller size definitely requires just one skein (or about 425 yards of fingering weight); the larger one calls for two skeins (475 yards). I did manage to squeeze the larger size out of just one skein, but it was a very close call and it’s possible the skein had a little extra yardage in it. I don’t want anyone to lose at “yarn chicken” when they’re nearly finished, so I’m recommending two skeins for the larger/longer size.

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Will you be at Rhinebeck (or another fiber festival) this year? I’m getting more and more excited every day about seeing so much beautiful and inspiring knitwear all in one place, plus petting sheep, and goats, and alpacas, and bunnies. I can’t wait!

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Traveling Wonderberry

My Wonderberry Shawl is making the rounds of fall fiber festivals. Last weekend, it was on display in the Periwinkle Sheep booth at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival. This coming weekend, it’s traveling to the Adirondack Wool and Arts Festival in Greenwich, New York. To celebrate, the pattern is 15% off on Ravelry with the coupon code WONDER15.

  Wonderberry Shawl  by Bonnie Sennott

Wonderberry Shawl by Bonnie Sennott

The shawl will be on display all weekend in the Periwinkle Sheep booth. She’ll have lots of colors of her fingering weight Watercolors II yarn (the shawl is in Rose Quartz) plus all her other gorgeous yarns.

Are you excited that the fall fiber festival season is here? Which are you going to? I’ll be at Rhinebeck — can’t wait!

The Wonderberry Shawl sale ends Monday, September 24. Find the pattern here.

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New Pattern: About Town Shawl

Attention, shawl lovers: here's a new pattern perfect for spring!

Worked from the top down in three colors of fingering weight yarn, the About Town Shawl showcases a striking mix of knit-purl textures, garter stitch, and lace — plenty of variety to keep the knitting interesting. Make it your own with colors that suit your style — subtle neutrals, or bright colors that pop — it’s your choice!

The About Town Shawl is on sale in my Ravelry pattern store for 25% off through Thursday, April 19 — use the coupon code SHAWL25 to get the discount.

I designed this shawl to match the About Town Mitts. The two patterns can be purchased together as an ebook set in my Ravelry pattern store for just $8.

For the sample, I used stash yarns, including some laceweights held together with light fingering weight yarns. The peach color was a skein of Tika Designs sock yarn that I purchased at Rhinebeck a couple of years ago and later dyed with red onion skins. It was really fun combining yarns and colors — I went with soft, gentle colors, but that's just one possibility. There are so many others — I can't wait to see the combinations knitters use! You can find a complete rundown on the yarns I used, plus yardage requirements for knitting your own shawl, on the pattern's Ravelry page.

The About Town Shawl would be a lovely project to cast on for the KATT (Knit All The Things) KAL. Find more info and join the KAL in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group. It starts this Thursday, April 19, and ends June 10.

Thank you very much for reading!

Things to Come

Hello, blog readers — I hope you're still around after my rather long absence! Just as the scilla and snowdrops are emerging around town, so I feel I am emerging from weeks of being buried in work (and not the fibery kind that's fun to blog about).

Fun, fibery things are indeed coming up, though. I recently bound off and blocked a new shawl (a companion to the About Town Mitts) and am very pleased with how it turned out.

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Knit in three colors, with lace, knit-purl textures, and stripes, it's got plenty of variety to keep the knitting interesting. The pattern is coming very soon, but if you want to stash dive ahead of time, you'll need fingering weight yarn in three colors: Color 1 (which is peach in my sample, dyed with red onion skins) - 290 yards/265 m; Color 2 (cream) - 175 yards/160 m; and Color 3 (the lace section in the sample) - 135 yards/124 m. Total yardage, if you want to make it a single color: 600 yards/549 m. After blocking, the wingspan of my sample measured 58 inches/148 cm.

The About Town Shawl would be a great project for the next knitalong in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group. The Knit All The Things (KATT) KAL starts a week from today, April 19. It's a leisurely KAL, lasting until June 10, so there's plenty of time to cast on and finish a large project like a sweater or a shawl. Of course, small projects are welcome, too!

Any of my designs can be knit for the KATT KAL, and if you want to finish up a WIP rather than start something new, that's fine, too. We have lovely prizes of yarn, free patterns, and other goodies, and as always there will be lots of friendly knitting conversation. Come join us anytime — we're already discussing possible patterns and yarns.

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One project I've been working on during the past month involves this gorgeous Phantom Ship colorway of Stitch Sprouts Crater Lake, a soft and squishy bulky weight merino. The design must stay under wraps until later this year, but I loved the yarn so much I just had to share a peek with you.

I'll be back soon with the new About Town Shawl pattern. In the meantime, if it's spring where you are, I hope it's beautiful!

 Spring color at the Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden's annual flower show

Spring color at the Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden's annual flower show

P.S. If you don't already receive the monthly Blue Peninsula newsletter, now's a good time to sign up — the next issue will have something special just for subscribers.

Treat Yourself KAL Starts Today (and Sale Ends)

It's cast on time! The Treat Yourself KAL starts today in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group. For the next six weeks, you're invited to join us as you knit yourself a special accessory or sweater.

Perhaps a new cowl? There's my newest pattern — Waverleigh — and lots of others to choose from. Just a reminder, all individual patterns in my Ravelry pattern store are 20% off through midnight tonight (Sunday) with the coupon code TREATYOURSELF.

 Clockwise from upper left:  Waverleigh ,  Singing Beach ,  Calliopsis ,  Birchleaf ,  Erste , and  Cordulia

Clockwise from upper left: Waverleigh, Singing Beach, Calliopsis, Birchleaf, Erste, and Cordulia

A number of knitters are making the Rowhouse Socks for the KAL. I can't wait to see how they look in different colors! If you haven't done stranded-color socks before, this would be a wonderful pattern to start with. After the colorwork on the calf is done, the knitting is quite simple.

  Rowhouse Socks , by Bonnie Sennott

Rowhouse Socks, by Bonnie Sennott

The Treat Yourself KAL lasts a full six weeks, ending on February 25. So there's plenty of time to delve into a shawl or sweater. Maybe a lace cardigan, like the Drafter's Cardigan, or a chic layering piece for spring, like the Mathews Street Vest? Both are available as PDF downloads from Interweave.com.

 photo courtesy F&W Media/Harper Point Photography

photo courtesy F&W Media/Harper Point Photography

 photo courtesy F&W Media/Harper Point Photography

photo courtesy F&W Media/Harper Point Photography

If you haven't got a lot of free time for knitting, then maybe a new pair of mitts might be perfect. (That's probably what I'm making.) Whatever you choose, I look forward to seeing you in the KAL!

 The  Blue Peninsula January sale  ends midnight, Sunday, January 14!

The Blue Peninsula January sale ends midnight, Sunday, January 14!

New Pattern: Ischnura Shawl

Ischnura, a lace-and-garter stitch crescent shawl, is now available on Ravelry. Knit in bulky weight wool, it's a warm and cozy accessory for the winter months ahead. Now through Sunday, it's 25% off with the coupon code SHAWL25.

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Named after a genus of damselflies, Ischnura is the third and final lace accessory in my Dragonfly Days collection (the others are the Enallagma shawl and Cordulia cowl). The three patterns may be purchased individually, or in a combined ebook for just $12.

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Ischnura is knit with three skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Quarry, a bulky weight wool with beautiful stitch definition and a very high "squish" factor. The blocked shawl has a wingspan of 72 inches, so it's long enough to wrap around your shoulders and stay warm on even the coldest winter day. 

The knitting begins with a pretty lace-and-cable stitch pattern that produces a gently scalloped edge. Following the lace, short rows are worked in garter stitch to shape the shawl. The pattern provides full, step-by-step instructions for the short rows. And the lace stitch is provided in both a chart and written, line-by-line instructions — so whichever you prefer, you're covered.

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Ischnura would be a great pattern to make for the Free Fall KAL in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group (and a beautiful holiday gift, also!). The KAL continues through November 15, so there's still plenty of time to cast on. One of the prizes is a shawl pin from Ideas in Wood, like the one shown in the photo below. Join the KAL and see what everyone's making here.

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This was my first time designing with Quarry — and now that I've seen how well it works for cables and lace, it may not be my last. I enjoyed every moment of knitting this shawl, and I hope you like it as much as I do.

Thank you very much for reading!